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Harrisville Hose company marks 100 years

April 29, 2012

Lt. Kevin Deschamps, left, and Lt. Mike Dutilly, both seven year veterans of the Harrisville Fire Department, will be celebrating the 100th anniversary with past and present members of the department with a banquet at Crystal Lake this Saturday evening. (photo/Ernest A. Brown)

BURRILLVILLE — Harrisville Hose Company No. 1 is gearing up for a major milestone: its 100th birthday.
On Saturday, May 5, the fire department will celebrate 100 years with a banquet at Crystal Lake Golf Course in Burrillville. Former members that were located have been invited as well as many other guests.
The Harrisville Fire District is comprised of the Harrisville Fire Department, Hose Company No. 1 and the Harrisville Water Department. It is located in the heart of the Town of Burrillville, and encompasses the historic villages of Harrisville and a portion of Glendale.
On Feb. 15, 1912, 36 men from the village of Harrisville met and organized Harrisville Hose Company No. 1. From 1912 to 1922, one hand-drawn hose reel with 500 feet of 2.5-inch hose and one hand-drawn, two-wheel ladder carrier were utilized to fight fires in the village of Harrisville. Today, with advanced medical and firefighting equipment, the present members of the Hose Company continue to carry out their mission of public service with a dedicated commitment.
For the past 100 years, a total of 388 men and women have volunteered their services as volunteer firefighters and/or emergency medical technicians. During the past 100 years, eight chiefs have led the department. They are Peter McDermott (1912-1913); Roswell F. Brooks Jr. (1913-1915); Thomas W. Powell (1915-1917); Clarence G. Cook (1917-1941); Pierre H. Menard (1941-1947); Maxime F. Menard (1947-1983); Edward L. Gingell (1983-1990); and Mark A. St. Pierre (1990-present).
During these 100 years, the Hose Company has been housed in three fire stations. The first station was located behind the long gone Memorial Building, which was located at the corner of East Avenue and Main Street in a building that would later be moved to Main Street and become the American Legion Hall. The Hose Company would remain there until 1922 when they move into a new station on Chapel Street.
The Chapel Street station would be called home until 1970 when the department relocated to a new station where they remain today on the site of the former Harrisville Grammar School at the corner of Main and Callahan School Streets.
Presently, the Hose Company has 35 members, of which 30 are nationally certified by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) as Firefighter Level I and or II.
The Hose Company also has 15 emergency medical technicians.
The Hose Company is a charter member of the Northern Rhode Island Firemen’s League, which was formed in 1926. The Hose Company is also a member of the Rhode Island State Firemen’s League.
As a natural adjunct to its fire-fighting function of supplying water to fire hydrants, and in accordance with the authority granted in its charter, the Harrisville Fire District also supplies potable water to residents of the District. Many of the households in the District are served by Harrisville's water system, as well as four of the five Burrillville schools, the library, and the Town Hall. Harrisville also supplies water to over 150 fire hydrants in the District and Oakland-Mapleville.
The Harrisville Fire Department is run by a fire subcommittee of the Harrisville Fire District Operating Committee. The Harrisville Hose Company No. 1 is the social aspect of the Fire Department. The Hose Company was organized 1912 as a firefighting organization. Today the company supports various community activities within the town and the village of Harrisville.
Tickets for the annual banquet are available at the fire station through Sunday at a cost of $25.00 each

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